After AfPak: Reframing Europe and the UK’s Pakistan policy

As NATO troops draw down from the region, how should the West engage Pakistan?  


Dr Matthew Nelson, Reader in Politics, SOAS

Angela Stanzel, Policy Fellow, ECFR

Dr Graham Williams, Head of the South Asia & Afghanistan Research Group and Principal Research Analyst for Pakistan, Foreign & Commonwealth Office


Chaired by

Dr Farzana Shaikh, Associate Fellow & Co-Convenor of the Pakistan Study Group, Chatham House

Is Western engagement with Pakistan failing? Its economy is on the rocks and it is being eaten from the inside-out by terrorist groups who claim thousands of lives a year in Pakistan and export terror to the region and wider world. The recent spate of cross-border shelling with India, which has displaced 50,000 civilians and killed 18 more, is a deadly reminder of their nuclear-charged rivalry. At the same time China is arguably Pakistan’s closest ally; a third side to the competition between Asia’s two emerging superpowers. While Europeans used to see Pakistan through the prism of Afghanistan, as NATO troops draw down from the region, how should the West engage Pakistan?

Dr Matthew Nelson is a Reader in Politics at SOAS. Before coming to SOAS Dr Nelson taught at UC Santa Cruz, Bates College, and Yale University. Dr Nelson is a founding member of the Centre for Comparative Political Thought, the Centre for Pakistan Studies, and the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights, and Justice at SOAS.

Angela Stanzel is a Policy Fellow for the Asia and China Programme at ECFR. Before joining ECFR, Angela has worked for the BMW Foundation and at the German Embassy in Beijing. She is the author of ‘After AfPak: Reframing Europe’s Pakistan policy’ (September 2014).

Dr Graham Williams is the Head of the South Asia & Afghanistan Research Group (SAARG) and the Principal Research Analyst for Pakistan at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  He is responsible for the provision to FCO policy-makers and other government departments of informed specialist advice on, and analysis of, Pakistan.  He has worked on Pakistan issues since mid-2001, focusing on Pakistan’s politics, foreign affairs and security. 

Dr Farzana Shaikh is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House and a specialist on Pakistan and the regional politics of South Asia. She has been a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2010 her book, Making Sense of Pakistan, was selected by the Guardian as one of four ‘essential books’ for Prime Minister Cameron’s government.